Dozens show up for Park Day cleanup

BALDWYN – Residents in Northeast Mississippi showed their appreciation for Mississippi’s history Saturday by helping clean up battlefield sites.
More than 40 people showed up at Brice’s Cross Roads National Battlefield in Baldwyn for the nationwide Park Day. Edwinna Carpenter, director of the Interpretive Center and Battlefields, said volunteers throughout the state teamed up Saturday to help clean and restore five Civil War sites.
More than 100 historic sites in 24 states participated in the Park Day, which is sponsored by the History Channel and the Civil War Preservation Trust.
“We’ve had a great turnout,” said Carpenter. “We’ve even had the mayor out helping us. This is a great event for the community to get involved in. Our Civil War history is a huge part of our state and it’s important to keep our battlegrounds and parks clean.”
Carpenter said with a re-enactment scheduled for June 12-14, Park Day couldn’t have come at a better time.
“We’ll have a lot of people participating and watching our re-enactment, so it’s important for the fields to look their best,” she said.
Baldwyn Mayor Danny Horton got down and dirty with the rest of the volunteers.
“I got a little muddy along with everyone else,” said Horton. “I’m glad to have been able to help and I’m glad so many others came out to help us. We had a lot of good people out here. These battlegrounds are a part of our heritage and everyone who helped with this cleanup is helping to preserve it.”

Bethany benefits
Bethany Cemetery also benefited from the Park Day help. Carpenter said the cemetery is the final resting place of some of the Civil War casualties, which makes it just as important as the battlefields.
John Mabry stopped by to lend a hand to the workers, who did everything from raking and picking up leaves, to cutting and piling logs.
“Two things brought me out to help,” said Mabry. “My love for history and my love for Mississippi. I’ve always been fascinated by the Civil War and how it helped to mold the way our country is today. So when I heard about this event to help to clean the battlefields, I didn’t hesitate to help out. I’ve been to a lot of the sites around the state and they are all so well kept. I just thought I’d do my part to help keep them nice and clean.”
Volunteers got a free T-shirt and an opportunity to hear local historians describe the significance of the site.

Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or danza.johnson@djournal.com.

Danza Johnson/Daily Journal